Brenda Cuellar, who played for the school’s junior varsity soccer team, was coming home from practice when she exited the school bus on La Homa Road south of 4 Mile Line at about 7:30 p.m., according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The bus’s flashing lights were activated and the vehicle was facing south when Cuellar attempted to cross the road.
According to DPS, the driver, a 36-year-old female Mission resident driving a Chevrolet Cobalt, was headed north on La Homa and didn’t stop for the bus while it was unloading. The driver stopped a few yards away, and was transported to Mission Regional Hospital with minor injuries.
Minutes before she was struck, Cuellar posted “#exhausted… Pero ahi sigo jugando soccer <3” on Twitter.
She was taken to McAllen Medical Center, where she later died.
“Brenda’s loss is heartbreaking to our district and in particular to Palmview High School Soccer team,” states a news release from La Joya Independent School District.
The driver has not been charged and has been released from the hospital. DPS Sgt. Johnny Hernandez said troopers are still investigating the incident and did not state whether the driver would be charged in connection to the event.
Hernandez emphasized state law states a driver on a highway when approaching a school bus from either direction must stop before reaching the bus if the bus is operating a visual signal. The driver may not proceed until the bus resumes motion, the bus driver signals the driver to go or the visual signal is no longer activated.
A violation of the law is considered a Class A misdemeanor if the driver causes serious bodily injury.